This is why we do what we do

Evie Taylor hugs Casper, a dog the Taylor family fostered while finding him a home.

Our president, Dawn Taylor, and her husband, Chris, have three gregarious daughters whom they refer to as the E-girls. They are a let’s-do-it, inquisitive and charming triple threat to steal the hearts of anyone with whom they encounter.

Emma, age 14, is full of curiosity. Elaina, 11, crosses the i with a heart, thank you very much. And Evie, 7, wants her i to resemble a lollipop.

Meeting them together will keep you turning your head to address them as I discovered when I met them for the first in the home of their grandparents, Diane and Don Bennet Jr., from who they inherited the twinkle in their eyes. It’s as if they are thinking “show me what you’ve got mister, and by the way, what brings you here?”

The Taylor family has fostered many dogs and cats over the years. Recently, their parents asked them to write a short essay about their thoughts about the fostering experience.

Elaina wrote for herself and her sisters. The “hardest part was when you have to say goodbye, but at the same time it’s really, really, really AWESOME that the dog/cat

Is going to its new home. I LOVE IT.”

Our Valley Center Animal League will benefit from energy the Taylor girls bring us for many years.

This is Dawn’s story about one of her family’s fosters:

This is one of our early success stories and one of the reasons we do what we do. Casper was dumped. We found that out after his microchip was traced back to an owner who clearly did not have the heart to see the potential he had.

After a period in our foster home, he moved out of state and began training as an emotional-assistance dog for a young boy with autism. The family had not been able to travel for years due to the boy’s overwhelming anxiety. Just five months after leaving the foster home, the mother sent pictures of the entire family, of course that means Casper too, traveling on an airplane for the first time ever.

The shortsighted and inhumane action of the first owner was able to be transformed into a life-changing relationship for an entire family as well as that beautiful dog.

My heart broke the day he left. Tears of sadness because I knew I would probably never get to see him again. And tears of joy because I knew what he had to give that young family and the amazing appreciation and love they would give him in return.

We have fostered lots of dogs now and I still cry more often than not. However, my heart continues to grow each time to hold the memories and prepare to see the potential in the next overlooked soul.

Ed Varner is a member of the Valley Center Animal League. Reach him at or 616-7487.

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